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To counter the effects of violence in our communities by turning fear, anger, and hate into acceptance and hope, by bridging endless possibilities through the creative process.
What: Release the Fear, a non-profit health and human services organization, teaches Arizona’s youth the life skills needed to combat the effects of Peer Pressure, Gang involvement, Bullying, Abuse, and Violence in our society and to make better life choices. Release the Fear (RTF) has worked with thousands of at-risk youth and adults in Arizona and around the world, offering experiential programs that help reverse the paralyzing effects of fear and diminished self-worth. Our programs encourage youth to explore safe and healthy lifestyles and to overcome disabilities through the development of leadership and social skills through evidence-based curriculum that meets Arizona education standards.
How: These programs stimulate whole-brain thinking and develop metacognitive thought processing by utilizing new applied-knowledge teaching methods. These programs demonstrate options that awaken a creative consciousness and expose the unlimited potential of critical thinking and problem solving to help participants develop better cognitive behavioral skills. Our trained facilitators guide participants through interactive creative activities and analytically explore the connectedness to their lives. Release the Fear utilizes inquiry-based learning experiences, an educational practice where the teacher/facilitator uses controlled questioning to serve as a learning guide in order to move students towards new understandings. Educational research shows that student retention increases when new learning is discovered through inquiry practices, as the student is able to take ownership of these findings. The teacher/facilitator must act as guide while being an expert questioner, thinking of the end objective at all times and posing questions to allow students to reach objectives on their own. When this is done, students are able to create new thought patterns which connect and build on their applied knowledge and personal life goals. Without these essential life skills, the still-maturing minds of detained youth view their future as bleak with no hope for a "normal" life.
Approach: Through experiential programs, we encourage participants to develop valuable core life skills, better critical problem solving, and a healthy sense of understanding of self and others. Through the RTF programs, participants discover that anything is possible, that they have a purpose in life. They see why they do matter to the world, to the community, and most of all to themselves.
Transformation: The Maricopa County Juvenile Probation Office released a 2010 report demonstrating the value of Inside Out: Bridging Possibilities workshops on their juvenile population. Thirty percent of incarcerated youth recidivate--meaning three out of ten will again find themselves in conflict with law and society and back behind bars. For the incarcerated youth who participated in just one Release the Fear workshop, that recidivism figure dropped by 23 percent. For those who were able to benefit from multiple workshops, it dropped by 46 percent - nearly half. That is an impressive impact on any child’s future as well as the community in general..Release the Fear, Inc. has worked with youth in Arizona and internationally, in such places as Guam and El Salvador, instilling positive life changes for thousands.
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